The Gambia

Published in 2024

Legal sources

Executive Summary

Hopes were high that the end of the 22-year dictatorship of Yahya Jammeh in January 2017 would represent a turning point for human rights, media freedoms and civil liberties in The Gambia. However, while the government of Adama Barrow had hinted at plans to amend draconian restrictions of freedoms, these laws remain still in effect. 

Since January 2017, human rights have improved slightly under Barrow’s administration, including respect for fundamental freedoms such as the rights to freedom of assembly, association and expression.

The Access to Information Act was adopted in August 2021. Its goal is to foster greater government transparency and accountability. 

Although anti-corruption legislation exists, whistleblowing mechanisms remain very limited, and there is no dedicated law on the matter.

The Gambian Constitution provides “a fundamental law, which affirms our commitment to freedom, justice, probity and accountability”. Freedom of “speech and expression, which includes freedom of the press and other media” are specifically guaranteed. However, restrictive media and secrecy laws contradict the Constitution and have resulted in Freedom House ranking the Gambian press as “partly free” in the 2022 Freedom of the Press index.

Laws and measures related to whistleblowers

  • Protection of employees against unfair dismissal and victimisation

The 2007 Labour Act states that “the filing of a complaint or the participation in proceedings against an employer involving alleged violation of any laws, regulations or collective agreements” does not constitute valid grounds for dismissal or disciplinary action. In the event of a dispute, it falls on the employer to prove that a dismissal was justified. When a complaint of unfair dismissal is found by the tribunal to be “well founded,” the Industrial Tribunal may order reinstatement of the employee and/or “award such compensation as the Tribunal considers just and equitable,” based on the “loss sustained by the employee in consequence of the dismissal.”

The Act prohibits the victimization of employees for “anything done in pursuance” of the administration of the Act and notes that employers shall “grant an employee every opportunity and necessary facilities for communicating freely” with officers of the Department of Labour responsible for investigating alleged breaches of the Act. Officers are obliged to “treat as absolutely confidential the source of any complaint” and refrain from informing the employer that an inspection was made “in consequence of a complaint”.

  • Limited Protection for Witnesses, Victims, and Experts

The Gambia Anti-Corruption Bill of 2019 provides some protection for witnesses, victims and experts from retaliation. Indeed, Section 80 of this law reads as follows: “The Gambia Anti-Corruption Commission shall provide for the effective protection from retaliation or intimidation for witnesses, experts and victims who give testimony concerning offences relating to Corruption and, as appropriate, for their relatives and other person close to them, and make provision for evidentiary rules to permit witnesses and experts to give testimony in a manner that ensures the safety of such persons, such as permitting testimony to be given through the use of communications technology such as video or other adequate means.” The Anti-Corruption Bill has been pending in Parliament since 2019 and was finally debated in September 2023. However, currently, it appears that the law is still pending, and there is no online information available to confirm its effective adoption.

No further legal protections for whistleblowers are available.

Full Report 2024:

Blow the whistle


Stay informed of the latest actions of PPLAAF by subscribing to the newsletter.


I blow the whistle

Legal Notice - Copyright 2024

Legal Notice

Copyright 2022